TAG Consulting

Why Resistance Is Your Ally


December 11, 2017


Call it what you will – resistance, pushback, challenge, opposition – it’s basically an opposing force that slows or stops movement. Anyone in leadership, be it parenting, teaching, directing a government agency or pastoring a church, should come to expect resistance. Resistance is everywhere!

It is important to NOT be surprised when resistance emerges. In fact, it is an element in the process of leadership that we should welcome. Welcome it, then learn how to handle it correctly.

All of us resist at times. It’s a way of protecting ourselves from real or perceived danger, most notably when change is unfolding. In and of itself, resistance is not a bad thing. It’s merely energy. If we can effectively redirect this energy we can move the resistance in the direction of change.

The first signal resistance sends to my mind is ‘I don’t like this change. In fact, I don’t like ANY change!’.

The second thing resistance signals is ‘OK, I can tolerate some change, but you’re going too fast’. When we receive the signal – whatever it is – it’s up to us to determine what the signal means.

Resistance signals issues that are lurking underneath the surface and that are tapping into our most deeply held values. That’s one of the great benefits of resistance and why we don’t hesitate to call it our ally.

Resistance is our ally because it lets us know that there is something important on in our life, our leadership, or both. It lets us know something needs to change and that change will be for the better.

Identify The Resistance


April 3, 2017

As a leader you are going to face resistance. We spend a substantial amount of our time reminding leaders of this truth and telling that they are not alone! Resistance is part of the process.

That said, it can be very helpful to identify the types of resistance you are facing as you lead.

  • Immediate criticism. “What a dumb idea!”
  • Denial. “I don’t see any problem here”.
  • Malicious compliance. “I concur completely and whole-heartedly (only I don’t, at all)”
  • Sabotage. “Let’s go get him”.
  • Easy agreement. “No problem”.
  • Deflection. “How about those Red Sox!”
  • Silence
  • In your face criticism. “You’re the worst leader we’ve ever had around here”.

When faced with resistance we can choose to act in either the Red Zone or the Blue Zone.

In the Red Zone, we assume the resistance is about us personally (Why doesn’t he like what I’m proposing? Does he think I’m incompetent?”), not about our roles. Feeling personally attacked we resort to subterfuge and maneuvering.

When we’re in the Blue Zone we welcome the resistance as a normal part of forward movement, seek to understand it and the underlying issues generating it, and work to be effective with those who are creating the resistance.

Want to know more? Download a FREE white paper on navigating and thriving through conflict by clicking here.

Face The Resistance!


January 16, 2017

Face it, none of us like it when our leadership is resisted.

But facing this reality that we hate to face is crucial to our success.

One of the most important components of Blue Zone living is learning to view resistance as your ally. Resistance shows you that your current strategy of leadership is not working – at least as well as it might – and gives you permission to find alternative strategies, using all of your creativity.

Here are four things about resistance that will help you view it as an ally, not an enemy.

  • Resistance is an expected part of change.
  • Progress without resistance is impossible.
  • We resist change not because we hate change, but because we perceive the change will be harmful to us in some way. For instance, when we begin to lose weight our body responds by slowing our metabolism, because it fears change.
  • Resistance alerts us to dynamics underneath the surface that are actually happening in the moment.

Embrace The Resistance!


November 28, 2016

 

weight-superman

Call it what you will – resistance, pushback, challenge, opposition – it’s basically an opposing force that stops or slows movement.

Anyone in any type of leadership should come to expect resistance. In fact it is an element of leadership that should be welcomed. Welcome it, then learn how to handle it correctly.

All of us, from time to time, resist. It is a way of protecting ourselves from real or perceived danger, most notably when change is unfolding. In and of itself, resistance is not a bad thing – it is merely energy. The key is to effectively redirect that energy in the direction of change.

The first signal resistance sends to our minds is “I don’t like this change. In fact, I don’t like any change!”.

The second signal is “OK, I can tolerate a little bit of change but this is too much, too fast!”.

When we get these signals, our next step should be to interpret what they mean, instead of merely reacting to them. This is crucial.

Thriving through conflict requires mindfulness and a high degree of self-awareness. Here’s why…

Resistance always signals that issues lurk under the surface of the conflict. Rarely is the conflict about what we think it is. In fact, the surface conflict tends to point to a competition between our most deeply held values as individuals which are played out in the context of our organization.

Here’s the thing – this is good.

One of the great  benefits of resistance is that it signals to  us that deeply held values are at stake. When we surface these competing values and deal with them honestly, we have a real shot at gaining traction and moving forward as an organization. This is the stuff of leadership that is often obscured by simple explanations for conflict such as “He’s just being difficult”; “This is a personality conflict”; and “It’s all corporate politics”.

When we face resistance as leaders our job is to look for the competing values and the underlying themes in the struggle. This opens us up to new possibilities – for us as individuals, for our teams, for our organizations.

Where are you facing resistance today?

What might the issues and competing values underlying the resistance be?

What are some new possibilities that this resistance might open up if you embrace it rather than fight it?